Thursday, January 31, 2013
Hundreds of local students took part in the recent 1.2-mile Charleston Youth Marathon at Burke High School.
Howe Hall Arts Infused Elementary School won the award for having the most students participate with 124, or about a quarter of the school. Whiteside Elementary School, in Charleston County, had the second most participants with 90.
The Howe Hall AIMS students, dressed in matching day-glo yellow team shirts, gathered in a small concrete pit on the school grounds following instructions from Principal Chris Swetckie to stretch for several minutes before the race.
“The Charleston Youth Marathon is so great for our kids because it encourages them to stay active and healthy, not just on this one day, but for the entire time they prepare for the event by logging their miles,” Swetckie said. “The running club has become extremely popular at AIMS, and we have even had a number of parents join in on the fun to improve their fitness as well.
“As an educator and a parent, I know that a healthy child is going to be more successful in the classroom. Any event that can encourage so many of our students and their families to focus on their health and fitness, while having fun and building school spirit at the same time, is a winner in my book.”
Following his recovery after a near-fatal snakebite in 2011, student Zach Szala participated in this year’s marathon entirely on his own two legs.
Last year while he was still recovering from the bite he was able to participate in the marathon at the former Navy Base when Swetckie pushed his wheelchair while jogging at a safe pace.